Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness


<< Return to CALC homepage

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) Resource


The College has worked with the Department of Health to produce online training modules on Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards. These are currently under revision, and will be republished in February 2016.




Please note that we do not currently provide face-to-face training courses on DoLS.


About Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

The Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (formerly known as the Bournewood safeguards) were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) through the Mental Health Act 2007 (MHA). The aim of the safeguards is to provide legal protection for those vulnerable people who are deprived of their liberty otherwise than under the Mental Health Act 1983, to prevent arbitrary decisions to deprive a person of their liberty and to give rights to challenge deprivation of liberty authorisations. The safeguards apply to people who lack capacity to consent to care or treatment, and who are suffering from a disorder of the mind. The Government expects that implementation of the safeguards will reduce the number of people deprived of their liberty in care homes and hospitals.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) has worked collaboratively with the Department of Health to produce training materials for doctors as part of a DoLS Mental Health Assessor Training Programme. Regulations agreed by Parliament in 2008 have specified that Supervisory Bodies (in relation to DoLS) must be satisfied that, to be mental health assessors, doctors must have completed this DoLS mental health assessor programme, made available by the RCPsych.


Becoming a DoLS Mental Health Assessor

The training is designed for two groups of medical practitioners:

  • Medical practitioners who have at least three years post registration experience of the diagnosis or treatment of a mental disorder from a variety of medical specialties and who are not MHA Section 12 Approved. These medical practitioners will need to be trained in both modules.
  • MHA Section 12 Approved doctors (psychiatrists and non-psychiatrists) or for those who have completed the Introductory Training Course. These medical practitioners will only need to be trained in module 2.


The DoLS e-Learning Modules are available free of charge to all NHS funded doctors in England and Wales. The e-Learning Modules are delivered by e-Learning for Healthcare (e-LfH) in partnership with the RCPsych. The modules form part of the DoLS training provided by the Department of Health (DH) and the RCPsych.


Training within your Trust/Organisation

Your Trust/Organisation can obtain the Training Manuals from the RCPsych. There are two training modules. The Manuals are designed for trainers who wish to train medical practitioners in group face-to-face training courses.  The RCPsych has produced the DoLS training modules and all related training materials in collaboration with the Department of Health. In line with the DoLS Regulations (SI 2008 No.1858), the training is made available by the Royal College of Psychiatrists. To obtain the manuals, please contact Catherine Ayres, Event Manager.


Make a Donation
IC 2016